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Hydra

Hydra

THE MANY HEADED HYDRA / VILLAINS OF ALL NATIONS

NEW TITLES FROM VERSO:

THE MANY HEADED HYDRA: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE REVOLUTIONARY ATLANTIC

By Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker

AND

VILLAINS OF ALL NATIONS: ATLANTIC PIRATES IN THE GOLDEN AGE

By Marcus Rediker

Published: January 2013

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THE MANY HEADED HYDRA: THE HIDDEN HISTORY OF THE REVOLUTIONARY ATLANTIC

Long before the American Revolution and the Declaration of the Rights of Man, a motley crew of sailors, slaves, pirates, laborers, market women, and indentured servants had ideas about freedom and equality that would for ever change history.

Distinguished historians Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker reveal the lost stories of the dispossessed and their role in shaping the modern world. From a history littered with Kings, Queens and conquest, the authors offer an account from the bottom up, asking, as Brecht had in his poem A WORKER READS HISTORY – “by whose hands and misery were empires built?”

Linebaugh and Rediker navigate the dreams of the downtrodden, whose rebellions across Europe, the Caribbean, Africa and North America are described in rich detail from initial spark to brutal repression. They look to a time that proposed a radical alternative to the development of globalized capitalism.

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Praise for THE MANY HEADED HYDRA

“A landmark in the development of an Atlantic perspective on early American history. Ranging from Europe to Africa to the Caribbean and North America, it makes us think in new ways about the role of working people in the making of the modern world.” – Eric Foner

“This is a marvelous book. Linebaugh and Rediker have done an extraordinary job of research into buried episodes and forgotten writings to recapture, with eloquence and literary flair, the lost history of resistance to capitalist conquest on both sides of the Atlantic.” – Howard Zinn

“More than just a vivid illustration of the gains involved in thinking beyond the boundaries between nation-states. Here, in incendiary form, are essential elements for a people’s history of our dynamic, transcultural present.” – Paul Gilroy, author of THE BLACK ATLANTIC

“THE MANY-HEADED HYDRA is a wonderful book. Its passion and commitment encourages its readers to think associatively, to make progressive connections” – Sukhdev Sandhu, GUARDIAN

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VILLAINS OF ALL NATIONS; ATLANTIC PIRATES IN THE GOLDEN AGE

Pirates have long been stock figures in popular culture, from Treasure Island to the more recent antics of Jack Sparrow. VILLAINS OF ALL NATIONS unearths the thrilling historical truth behind such fictional characters and rediscovers their radical democratic challenge to the established powers of the day.

Concentrating on the years 1716-26, Rediker paints, in bold colors, a picture of a loose-knit band of rebels united under the dreaded Jolly Roger against oppressive treatment at the hands of naval and merchant captains alike. The black flag symbolized an anti-nation, a brutal but egalitarian society where decisions were taken democratically, booty shared and outcasts of all races and both sexes were treated equally – provided of course they could stand the tough and often very short life of a sea dog.

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Praise for VILLAINS OF ALL NATIONS

“Rediker’s brilliant study illuminates every aspect of life on the high seas.”– NEW STATESMAN

“Marcus Rediker’s social and cultural history of the “golden age” of Atlantic piracy in the early 18th century dispels some of the romanticised myths and makes claims for a proto-democratic, egalitarian and multi-ethnic society.” – FINANCIAL TIMES

“Rediker’s work on piracy … has revolutionised not only the way we see pirates, but also the way we understand the history of political institutions in the West. This is his fullest account to date of the democratic, egalitarian, multi-racial and utterly ruthless pirate communities of the early 18th century.”– LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS

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Peter Linebaugh is Professor of History at the University of Toledo. He writes extensively on British history, Irish history, labor history and the history of the colonial Atlantic. His books include THE MAGNA CARTA MANIFESTO, THE MANY-HEADED HYDRA and THE LONDON HANGED, and he contributes frequently to COUNTERPUNCH.

Marcus Rediker is Distinguished Professor of Atlantic History at the University of Pittsburgh and author of THE SLAVE SHIP: A HUMAN HISTORY and VILLAINS OF ALL NATIONS: ATLANTIC PIRATES IN THE GOLDEN AGE.

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THE MANY HEADED HYDRA:

ISBN: 9781844678652 / £14.99 / PAPERBACK / 448 pages

For more information about THE MANY HEADED HYDRA or to buy the book visit:

http://www.versobooks.com/books/1128-the-many-headed-hydra

 

VILLAINS OF ALL NATIONS:

ISBN: 9781844672813 / £12.99 / PAPERBACK / 240 pages

For more information about VILLAINS OF ALL NATIONS or to buy the book visit:

http://www.versobooks.com/books/1128-the-many-headed-hydra

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Hydra

THE MANY HEADED HYDRA 10 YEARS ON

Peter Linebaugh and Marcus Rediker’s The Many Headed Hydra (2000) argued that during the colonial and commercial expansion in the Atlantic Ocean between c. 1640 and 1830 a revolutionary proletariat emerged. Waves of commodification in the Atlantic system – of land, goods and people – created a mobile, multi-ethnic workforce. Authorities attempted to control them, only to provoke new forms of resistance. Atlantic proletarians played their own distinct part in the Age of Revolutions and the abolition of slavery; they created their own forms of equality and freedom. A decade after the publication of that highly suggestive study, how does the thesis stand up?

At this conference to be held at Birkbeck, University of London in Thursday 12 April 2012, we will hope to explore the book’s central themes in the light of new research, as well as taking it into new areas. The book concentrated on the English-speaking Atlantic and we would particularly encourage papers dealing with the non-English Atlantic or similar developments in the Mediterranean, Indian Ocean and Pacific. We would hope papers pay attention to the intersections between class, gender and race. All sub-disciplinary perspectives – economic, social, cultural, political – are welcome.

Themes for papers could include:

·         The politics and ideology of the proletariat: abolitionism, revolutions and revolts, popular egalitarianism and democracy, radical religion.
·         Types of work and workers; changing work processes; migration and labour markets; industrial relations; work cultures.
·         Sites of struggle: the commons, the plantation, ships, factories. How did they structure workers’ experiences? Are particular types of resistance associated with them? Were there others?
·         Material and economic pathways: the role of oceanic trade routes, commodities, natural resources, technologies etc
·         Role of institutions (e.g. trading companies, guilds), States and Empires in creating and regulating the workforce; criminal justice and law; army and naval recruitment; taxation.
·         Comparative perspectives between different Atlantic Empires or with the Mediterranean, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
·         Long-term perspectives; sources & methodology; theory.

 
Call for papers deadline: January 1st 2012
Email: manyheadedhydra.2012@gmail.com

Organisers:

William Farrell, Schoolof History, Birkbeck, Universityof London: Email: wjb.farrell@gmail.com

Stephen Duane Dean Jr, Department of History, Kings College London: Email: stephen.d.dean@gmail.com

 

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Mutiny

MUTINY AND MARITIME RADIALISM IN THE AGE OF REVOLUTION: A GLOBAL SURVEY

CALL FOR PAPERS

We announce a conference to be held June 17-18, 2011 at the International Institute of Social History in Amsterdam (NL). The conference will explore the transnational dimensions of mutiny and maritime radicalism during the great cycle of war and revolution beginning in the mid-1750s, progressing through the eras of the American, French, and Haitian Revolutions, into the period of the South American Wars for Liberation, and concluding with the revolutionary movements of the 1830s-40s.

Our central theme will be mutiny – its causes, frequency, forms, patterns, and outcomes – as we chart, link, and compare maritime insurrections in the Atlantic and beyond, on warships, merchant and fishing vessels, on privateers, slavers, convict ships, troop transports, hulks, galleys, and other vessels plying their trade on the seas.  We will also concentrate on the mutineers themselves: their individual and collective biographies, social composition, self-organization, objectives, and ideas.

We also include unrest in port cities, sites of international exchange between maritime and landed forms of resistance.  Sailors did not live only on ships.  They spent significant amounts of time in port, sometimes connecting shipboard unrest and radical movements on land in personal, political, and social ways.

Our aim is to rediscover the age of revolution in its full geographic extent, and though our central focus will be on the Atlantic with its wars and revolutions, we take an expansive and flexible view of its limits, hoping for contributions on other maritime regions such as the Baltic, Caribbean, Mediterranean, and Black Seas, or the Indian, South Pacific, Arctic, and Antarctic Oceans, excluding none.

Questions covered in the papers might include:

1.  What was the chronology and geography of mutiny (broadly defined) in the age of revolution?
2.  What kinds of ships were involved and how many?
3.  What were the social profiles of the mutineers?
4.  How were the crews initially raised/mobilized?  How were they remunerated?
5.  What was the social composition of mutinous crews?
6.  What was the nature of self-organization among mutinous crews?
7.  What were the political dimensions of mutinies?  What were their demands?
8.  What were the connections of mutinies to other ships and fleets, to landed society, and to other social movements?

We expect the conference to result in an edited volume published by a major international press.

Proposals should include a title, 250 word abstract, and short CV.  
Please submit materials by email attachment to maritimeradicalism2011@gmail.com by September 1, 2010.

The Mutiny Conference Advisory Committee

Claire Anderson (Warwick University) clare.anderson@warwick.ac.uk
Emma Christopher (University of Sydney) emma.christopher@arts.usyd.edu.au  
Niklas Frykman (Claremont McKenna College) nfrykman@gmail.com
Lex Heerma van Voss (International Institute of Social History) lhv@iisg.nl  
Marcus Rediker (University of Pittsburgh) marcusrediker@yahoo.com

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